The Story of

“IF INNOVATION CAN CHANGE a city, it can change a country and can serve as a bridge to the entire world.”

Our story



Erel Margalit, Founder and Executive Chairman JVP & Margalit Startup City, is one of the chief architects of Start-Up Nation, bringing innovation and entrepreneurial leadership to the country’s most pressing economic and social challenges. Erel’s journey started in Jerusalem where he is considered the founder of the capital’s tech ecosystem. For three decades, Erel, a former Member of Knesset, has been a visionary leader, championing innovation as a tool for economic growth and an engine for social change. For Erel, the entrepreneurial spirit springs from creativity, and he harnesses his regional economic development success, applying it on an international scale, supporting urban ecosystems with cultural, technological, entrepreneurial, and educational components.  

Erel’s successes led Forbes to rank him as the leading non-American venture capitalist, one who combines top-performing investments with social profit, creating the right impact domestically and internationally. Israel’s prestigious business publication The Marker ranked him first among Israel’s investors, calling him the “venture capitalist with the golden touch.”  

In 1993, Erel founded JVP, an internationally recognized venture capital fund. Under his leadership, JVP created more than 165 companies, facilitated 12 IPOs on NASDAQ, and orchestrated an additional dozen of sales industry sales to leading international companies. JVP continues to be ranked by Preqin as one of the top-performing funds in the world, with portfolio companies that drive global markets today. 

Creating Centers of Excellence in Israel and internationally 

 Erel Margalit has initiated the Margalit Startup City,  a socioeconomic development model which promotes the growth of regions, and advances cities to the next level – transforming them into international innovation centers that attract entrepreneurs from all over the world. 

Through thematic international innovation centers that make a difference in Israel and around the world, Margalit Startup City creates a new urban socioeconomic reality, generating thousands of new jobs, bringing young people back to the city centers, establishing a startup ecosystem, building connections with local and international investors, attracting multinational companies, leading to new business opportunities and international partnerships, and builds the next generation of technological, social and cultural entrepreneurs.

The uniqueness of this integration of business and technological innovation with urban social and cultural, includes artists, musicians, culinary experts, and a wide range of the creative class that transform cities into lively centers that create employment opportunities for young people, and drive positive migration of brilliant minds to city centers.

The first Margalit Startup City center for media and AI was established in Jerusalem, followed by the Cyber Center in Be’er Sheva, the international FoodTech Center in the Galilee, the Fintech Center in Tel Aviv, and the Digital Health Center in Haifa and the International and the Cyber Center in New York. 

Shaping the Next Generation

More than 20 years ago, Erel and his wife Debbie recognized the socio-economic gaps among Jerusalem’s disadvantaged children and created the social impact program Margalit Startup City Community “Bakehila.” What started in Jerusalem is now a nationally renowned educational non-profit that raises academic achievements and promotes personal and social growth among elementary and high school students in Jewish and Arab communities throughout Israel. More than 55,000 students nationwide have graduated from Margalit Start Up City Community programs. All Margalit Start Up City locations combine technology and education for under-privileged youth, encouraging them to take part in an economic development story that transforms and redefines their region, uproots poverty, instils a sense of community, and ignites opportunity around innovation.






Margalit Startup City partners with major cities to create international centers of excellence that tap into their innovative spirit. We want the younger generation to view their city as an arena of creativity where they can invision their next big idea and others around the world can invest in their uniqueness.



The centers of excellence combine technology and education to increase innovation-based employment opportunities for young people around Israel. Each center creates a thematic ecosystem and collaborates with different players, including leading universities, multinational companies and governmental programs. All of these players support the young entrepreneurs by placing the startups in the center.



Margalit Startup City innovation centers enhance human capital, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs. Our social projects like Bakehila integrate people from different backgrounds to revolutionize ideas and create a new reality.



Our innovation centers are invigorating socio economic engines of growth – creating high quality jobs and entirely new communities. We integrate the best local and international strategic partners in both the public and private sectors, connecting cities, people and ideas.



In each of its regional centers of excellence, Margalit Startup City has partnered with leading local players such as medical centers, multinational corporations, and venture capital funds. These partnerships and close collaborations are the backbone of truly transformational change and long-term success.


Founded in 1993 by Dr. Erel Margalit, JVP is an internationally renowned VC fund. It is among the pioneering firms of the Israeli VC industry and has raised over $1.7bn.
Over the years, JVP has built over 170 companies and has been listed numerous times by Preqin, as one of the top six consistently performing VC firms worldwide with portfolio companies that drive global markets today.
JVP’s winning strategy combines company creation with early and late-stage investment.

JVP has been instrumental in building some of the world’s largest companies to emerge, orchestrated dozens of industry acquisitions to leading international companies and facilitated 12 IPOs on NASDAQ, including CyberArk Software (NASDAQ: CYBR, $4.7 billion mkt. cap.), QLIK Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK, then $4 billion mkt. cap.) as well as many large industry sales.


JVP creates the majority of its own deal flow from seed by seeking groundbreaking new innovations. Renowned for its hands-on approach in supporting and mentoring its companies, JVP welcomes global strategic and investment partners through all phases of the maturity cycle, with a view to creating disruptive technologies and solutions.

Over the past decade, JVP has spearheaded the creation of international Centers of Excellence, including the AI and Media center in Jerusalem, the Cyber center in Beer Sheva, the FoodTech center in the Galilee, the digital health center in Haifa, the Fintech center in Tel Aviv and the International Cyber and Climate-tech center in NYC.
Recently JVP has decided to open newly emerging centers in Europe as well as in the Arab World that will be a new chapter for Israeli technologies to engage with the region.

Visit the JVP Website

International alliances



Yalla means ‘Let’s go’ in Arabic and Hebrew. 10 cities, 10 ideas, 10 projects that will change the way we think about the Middle East.By creating technological alliances with Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Amman, Manama, Riyadh and Casablanca, we are using innovation to build bridges and bring hope to the Middle East. Our companies have successful business connections with the biggest business leaders in the region around fintech, cyber, digital health, foodtech and many more to come.

Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Piemonte are all great cities with huge potential for Israeli startups looking to expand into Europe.
We are talking with these European cities about establishing Margalit Startup City innovation centers in their regions. Israel has created new chapters in country-to-country diplomacy and public and private initiatives, which take models of cooperation to the next level and make it concrete.

two men talking.


The best ideas begin with a conversation.
Contact us if you want to learn more about our work and vision.